As the Ebola death toll continues to rise across West Africa, some residents are refusing to go to medical clinics to seek treatment because of widespread conspiracy theories that they are being killed by doctors
MOSCOW, September 27 (RIA Novosti) – As the Ebola death toll continues to rise across West Africa, some residents are refusing to go to medical clinics to seek treatment because of widespread conspiracy theories that they are being killed by doctors, Al Jazeera reports.
“If we have a stomachache, we don’t go to the hospital because doctors there will inject you and you will die”, said a local resident, who refuses to seek medical help, as quoted by Al Jazeera.
Some locals believe that foreign healthcare workers deliberately invented and introduced the deadly virus to lure Africans into medical clinics to get their blood and internal organs. The intense fear and anger have created an unsafe atmosphere for the aid workers, who came to help.
In July, an angry mob attacked a medical clinic run by the international humanitarian aid agency Doctors Without Borders, accusing them of bringing and spreading Ebola, according to the Huffington Post.
On September 16, eight health workers who were educating people about the virus were abducted and killed in a remote part of southeastern Guinea, Canadian CBC News reported. The issue of mistrust continues on, as six Red Cross volunteers were attacked on Friday while collecting the body of a person who had died from Ebola, the Washington Post said.
The fear and paranoia causes people to turn to witch doctors for treatment. In some parts of West Africa, there is a belief that merely saying the word “Ebola” can make the disease appear, the New York Times reported. These kinds of misunderstandings breed fear and present the biggest challenge in containing the virus.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday that the Ebola death toll in West Africa has already exceeded the 3, 000 mark.
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